Magazine article Sunset

Sweet on Figs

Magazine article Sunset

Sweet on Figs

Article excerpt

PEAK SEASON

Savor this luscious fruit roasted with chicken, tossed in salad, and cloaked in chocolate.

FIG, HAZELNUT, and GOAT CHEESE SALAD

SERVES 4/25 MINUTES

Crunch, sweetness, and a touch of richness-this recipe has everything you want in a salad. Dress the greens separately, then tuck in the soft figs and cheese so they keep their shape.

½ cup hazelnuts

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 ½ tbsp. sherry vinegar

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

½ tsp. honey

¼ tsp. each kosher salt and pepper

2 qts. (4 ½ oz.) loosely packed Little Gem* lettuces or tom pieces of romaine hearts

¼ cup thinly sliced red onion

2 tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves

8 figs, preferably a mix of green and black varieties (see "6 Figs to Try," below), stems trimmed halved (quartered if large)

4 oz. mild fresh goat cheese, at room temperature, crumbled

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Toast hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet until flagrant and golden beneath skins, 11 to 12 minutes. Rub in a kitchen towel to remove loose skins, then chop roughly.

2. Whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add lettuces, onion, mint, and nuts and gently toss to coat. Tuck in figs and cheese.

* Find Little Gem lettuce, a kind of miniature romaine, at farmers' markets and xvell-stocked grocery stores.

PER SERVING 390 Cal., 69% (270 Cal.) from fat; 9 g protein; 31 g fat (7 g sat.); 25 g carbo (5.4 g fiber); 233 mg sodium; 13 mg chol. GF/LS/V

6 figs to try Once dominated by dried fruit, California's fig industry, centered in the Central and Coachella Valleys, now sells a number of fresh varieties as well. Each is a little different-so try them all. Fresh figs are perishable; chill, loosely wrapped, up to 3 days.

BLACK MISSION Purple-black skin and vermilion flesh; earthy, Floral flavor.

BROWN TURKEY Purple-chocolate exterior; full, fruity flavor.

CALIMYRNA Pale yellow; buttery sweat, nutty flavor.

KADOTA Light green skin changes to amber as it ripens; delicate flavor.

SIERRA Another green variety; lightly aromatic with a hint of summer berries.

TIGER (AKA PANACHE) Green stripes on the outside, red inside; berry flavors.

CHICKEN and ROASTED FIGS

SERVES 4 / 45 MINUTES

Figs get a nice jammy texture as they cook with chicken in the garlic-honey sauce. For crisp chicken skin, resist the urge to spoon sauce over it during baking.

2 tbsp. good-quality (cask-aged) red wine vinegar

1 tsp. cornstarch

¼ cup honey

2 lbs. (4 to 6) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

1 tsp. kosher salt, divided

¾ tsp. pepper, divided

2 tbsp. olive oil

3 large shallots, thinly sliced

6 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves, plus 2 tbsp. whole leaves

8 to 10 figs, stems trimmed, halved (quartered if large)

1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a small bowl, whisk together ¼ a cup water, the vinegar, and cornstarch. …

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